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14. The Concord Directory. 12mo, pp. 24. Concord, 1830.
15. Pastors, Deacons, and Members of the First Congregational Church in Concord, N. H., from Nov. 18, 1730, to Nov. 18, 1830. 8vo, pp. 21. Concord, 1830.
16. An edition of the Constitution of New Hampshire, with Questions; designed for the use of Academies and District Schools in said State. 18mo, pp. 68. Concord, 1831.
17. A new edition of Belknap; containing various Corrections and Illustrations of the first and second volumes of Dr. Belknap's History of New Hampshire, and additional Facts and Notices of Persons and Events therein mentioned. Published in 1 vol. 8vo, pp. 512. Dover, 1831.
18. Papers in the Second and Third Series of the Massachusetts Historical Collections.
19. Papers in the five published volumes of Collections of the New Hampshire Historical Society.
20. Papers in the American Quarterly Register, viz: Sketches of the First Graduates of Dartmouth College, from 1771 to 1783 ; List of the Congregational and Presbyterian Ministers of New Hampshire, from its first settlement to 1814; List of the Graduates of all the Colleges of New England, containing about 19,000 names; List of eight hundred and forty deceased Ministers who were graduated at Harvard College, from 1642 to 1826, together with their ages, the time of their graduation and of their decease; and Memoirs of Ministers who have graduated at Harvard College to 1657.
It will be obvious that these works required severe labor and unwearied care in their preparation. Of Mr. Farmer's edition of Belknap's History of New Hampshire it is sufficient to say, tha the work is very much improved by the Annotator, who has embodied a great mass of valuable matter in his notes relative to the subjects of which he treated. It was his intention to have prepared a second volume for the press, and he had collected a mass of materials for the work, but did not live to accomplish his design.
The Genealogical Register is a inost wonderful exhibition of persevering industry. It may justly be called his great work, both on account of the quantity of matter which it contains and the difficulty of tracing out branches of families, where we have no regular genealogy. It embraces many thousands of names of persons, with dates of birth, death, offices sustained, places of residence, &c., chiefly through the seventeenth century. For one who
is fond of genealogical investigations, there is no treasure-house like it. There are but a few surnames found in New England, during the two centuries of our existence, which do not there appear. Had Mr. Farmer published nothing else, this would remain a lasting monument of his patient research and marvellous accuracy. He has left a corrected copy of his Register, greatly enlarged by successive additions, corrections, and illustrations. He has also lest several valuable manuscripts, more or less complete, containing Sketches of deceased Lawyers, Physicians, Counsellors, and Senators in New Hampshire; Tables of Mortality and Longev. ity; Memoirs of more than two thousand early graduates of Harvard College, and also of many graduates of Dartmouth College. Those of Dartmouth College consist only of a few memoranda of those individuals who received their degrees prior to 1799.*
A great labor, and the one on which Mr. Farmer had been engaged for a considerable time previous to his death, was the examining and arranging of the State Papers at Concord. Under a resolution of the Legislature of New Hampshire, approved Jan. 3, 1537, he was appointed to "examine, arrange, index, prepare for, and superintend the binding, and otherwise preserving, such of the public papers in the archives of the State, as may be deemed worthy of such care.” Of this species of labor, no one knows the extent and difficulty, unless he has either himself been versed in it, or has frequently watched its progress when undertaken by others. Mr. Farmer, in à letter to a distinguished literary friend in Massachusetts, written in August, 1837, says, in reference to it, “that he has had a great burden resting on him for the last four or five months;" and adds, "the records and files were in great confusion, no attempt having been made for arranging and binding a regular series of the former or for properly labelling and classifying the latter. In a few cases, I believe, there were papers of three centuries in the same bundle. This will serve to give you an idea of the confusion in which I found them. I began first with the Province Records, arranged under three different heads: 1. Journals of the House; 2. Journals of the Council and Assembly; 3. Journals of the Council. The Journals of the House received my first attention. These I found to commence in 1711, and from that time to 1775, they existed in twenty different portions, some in leaves, and
* These Memoirs of graduates at Harvard and Dartmouth Colleges were, agreeably to the desire of Mr. Farmer, placed in the hands of the Rev. Dr. Cogswell of Boston, for his disposal.
in mere paper books, of a few sheets each. Only three or four were bound volumes. I arranged the whole so as to make eight volumes; copying about three hundred pages, which would not conform in size. These have been bound in Russia leather, with spring backs, and make a handsome array of folios, containing 3,813 pages. The Council and Assembly Records, beginning 1699 and ending 1774, in five volumes, large folio, and containing 2,260 pages, next were arranged, and are now ready for the binder. The Council records are imperfect, and it will be necessary to copy much from the files before they are ready to bind. Besides these, I have collected the speeches and messages of the Provincial Governors, from 1699 to 1775, arranged them in chronological order, and have had them bound in three handsome volumes of about 1,500 pages. I will not mention the amount of papers in files which I have been over, new folded, and labelled."
Governor Hill, in his annual message to the Legislature, in June, 1837, says: “Under the resolution of the last session, John Farmer, Esq., has for several weeks been engaged in arranging for binding and preservation the shattered records and public papers in the archives of this State. Perhaps a century may occur before another person with his peculiar tact and talent shall appear to undertake this work.' Although of extremely feeble health, there is not probably any other person in the State, who can readily perform so much none so well versed in its history, and who has like him traced from the root upwards, the rise and progress of government in the land of the Pilgrims, and the origin and spread of every considerable family name in New England.”
And in his message of June, 1838, Governor Hill thus speaks : “ In my last annual communication to the Legislature, the progress made in the examination and arrangement of our public archives, by John Farmer, Esq., was mentioned. Since that time, with a method and perseverance deserving high praise, Mr. Farmer has prosecuted his labors, until the appropriation then made has been exhausted, and a small additional expense incurred. Twenty-three volumes have been bound in a neat and substantial manner. Among these volumes, is one containing the Associated Test Returns, which has the original signatures of 8,199 citizens of this State, above the age of twenty-one years, who'solemnly engaged and promised that they would to the utmost of their power, at the risk of their lives and fortunes, with arms, oppose the hostile proceedings of the British fleets and armies against the United
American Colonies. This pledge, it should be remembered, preceded the Declaration of Independence several months. It was, therefore, in the language of a note prefixed by Mr. Farmer, to this volume, a bold and hazardous step, in subjects, thus to resist the authority of one of the most powerful sovereigns in the world. Had the cause in which these men pledged their lives and fortunes failed, it would have subjected every individual who signed it, to the pains and penalties of treason; to a cruel and ignominious death. In my opinion, the cost to the State of this enterprise, by the man of all others best qualified for such an undertaking, bears no comparison to its importance : it is hoped the Legislature will direct Mr. Farmer to persevere until he completes the work. Let every fragment of our history be preserved; let us suffer nothing to be lost."
The Legislature wisely responded to the suggestions of the Governor. Mr. Farmer was continued in the work; and his life was prolonged until he had accomplished the most difficult portion of the task confided to him.
We know that Mr. Farmer placed an humble estimate upon his labors. He well understood the general indifference of the public to pursuits of this nature. The direction of the living and moving crowd is onward ; and he who busies himself in gathering up the memorials of the past, will be left behind, - himself and his labors 100 generally unrewarded and forgotten. Mr. Farmer has done perhaps more than any other individual in collecting and preserving the materials for our local history, and establishing accuracy in its details. He investigated faithfully, took nothing upon trust, and rested on reasonable conclusions only where absolute certainty could not be attained. Many have expressed surprise that Mr. Farmer could have been so indefatigable and painstaking in his pursuits. But the fondness for these investigations grows with indulgence. Success in establishing an old fact is a triumph over time. Facts established are the warp and woof of history; and the diligent antiquary thus gives to history its main materials, veracity and fidelity, when enlightened philosophy steps in and completes the work.
We have already mentioned, that Mr. Farmer was one of the three or four gentlemen only in New Hampshire, who have been elected Corresponding Members of the Massachusetts Historical Society. He was also a Corresponding Member of the Rhode Island and Maine Historical Societies, and of the American Anti
quarian Society. He was also elected in August, 1837, a member of the Royal Society of Northern Antiquaries at Copenhagen.
There was scarcely a lovelier or more prominent trait in Mr. Farmer's character, than the ever fresh and affectionate interest which he took in the intellectual improvement and moral culture of the young. Having no family of his own to engage his kind and generous affections, a chief source of happiness to him seemed to be, to act the part of a father and teacher to all the youth who were about hiin. He encouraged lyceums and literary associations for mental improvement; often heard recitations in private; examined compositions written at his own suggestion ; and directed the studies of such as applied to him. And such was his suavity of manners, his instructive conversation, and inexhaustible store of historical anecdote, that he scarcely ever failed to inspire his pupils and intimate acquaintances with a portion of his taste for literary and historical pursuits. Those who knew him respected him. Those who knew him intimately and were his friends, loved him. He was no dogmatist; never a violent partisan, although decided in his opinions, on whatever subject he expressed them. He possessed native delicacy and refinement of character. No harsh expressions fell from his lips or proceeded from his pen. He was nevertheless quick and sensitive to the distinctions between right and wrong, and steadily threw his influence into the scale of truth. His was a gentle spirit, seeking quiet and affection, like Cowper's, though without his vein of melancholy; and, though instinctively shrinking from vice, he was not disposed harshly to visit the offender. He had zeal, but it was the zeal of a catholic spirit, and of kind affections - the spirit of the Christian and gentleman, which respected the feelings of others, in whatever situation or circumstances of life.
All who were acquainted with Mr. Farmer, will respond to the affectionate and just tribute, which fell from the lips of the Rev. Mr. Bouton, on the occasion of his funeral : “ We believe our departed friend and fellow-citizen possessed the spirit of a Christian. Owing to bodily weakness and infirmities, he could not attend public worship on the Sabbath, or be present at any public meeting. But we know he was a firm believer in the doctrines of Christianity; a regular contributor to the support of divine worship; an intelligent and frequent reader of the Holy Scriptures; and that he ever cherished and manifested the profoundest reverence for the institutions and ordinances of religion, and particularly a respect for Christian